3 days of grunt work and the gardens and the greenhouse are planted. The tomatoes look kind of pissed off from the recent cold snap that inevitably happens as soon as we take them out into the world from their cushy life in the basement, but as of today, dark green leaves are re-emerging.
For here, we have had a pretty wet spring. It’s been nice to have the outdoor gardens soaked in this year. However, we still haven’t gotten into real mountain melt off season yet and the longer it waits and the warmer it gets, the bigger the hail will be. We are supposed to be in the mid- 70’s with a chance of “rain” every day for the next 10 days. Fingers crossed that the hail guards were worth the price. The shade cloth already has been. It is fun to watch their shadows cross the beds at the height of the daily sunshine. The Prima Dona squash plants seem to be grateful.
I wrote a letter to a couple of friends this past week that points to a milestone. This time it is real. It’s funny, since having written about the need to be finished with the general “Bob The Builder” work, I’ve seen several friends I follow on You Tube express similar sentiments. Not only does it need to be done, it needs to remain fun:
>>My son and my wife hear it all the time from me. “This place needs to be done. I’m so tired of being sore and tired”. It kind of goes in one ear and out the other. “Ya, ya, dad says the projects are almost done, but he’ll just dream up more of them.” I laugh and kid and let them have their teases, but inside I’ve been saying ever since surgery, “But I really mean it, This. Needs. To. Be. Done.” The Truth is, that I really did have a vision of what the farm should be able to do and what would be needed to make that happen. While I was building the place out (and also working), I worked pretty hard at making each piece produce as it became finished. My dream was looking forward to the time when I got to simply use it all for its intended purposes and be able to retire the tools.
We got the keys to the place 12/4/12. Today, Memorial Day weekend 2019, I dropped the mic – er, hammer, saw, drill, fencing tools, wrenches, pliers, and all the other various and sundry construction devices. It happened. Every piece is in place. Sure there will always be repairs or things that can embellish or improve upon something, but as of today, it’s done. The JAZ Farm project is completed. I get to take the rest of the summer and play farmer. My general contractor days are done. I won’t have to wake up tomorrow wondering what I have to build today. I was burning out big time and it wasn’t fun anymore. There are no more fences that are immediate, no more garden building or greenhouse construction, no more remodeling, no more corral building, coop building, brooder, construction or pig pen building, just tending the farm animals, gardening, stargazing, archery, and weaving (Along with some well deserved ass sitting). My spine was eaten, my knee is shot, all my joints ache, I’m mentally spent, and it all looks amazing. Now I get to retire to it. It might not be important to anyone else, but this was my Everest. Today I summited. We were sitting under the awning of the barn and I had one last part of a brooder to finish. I looked at Zina and said, “This is it. After this bracket, It’s all done. Even if it isn’t, it has to be. I can’t do this anymore. Everyone else gets to play Farmer In The Dell, but when I look in my basket, it always has tools in it. It’s done. I want to play in the dirt.” So at least for the summer, the tools are hung up. It all works, nothing is missing and I get to farm without distraction. That’s the second half of the summer retreat. Just living the “Mostly Off Grid Life.
Six and a half years of building. If there was anything in my life that should overcome all the self-deprication, it should come from simply looking out the window. I will not miss my twice weekly trips to the Home Depot, Tractor Supply, or the local feed store and Stockyard supply stores. They have enough of my money. It’s time to play and use the place for that which was birthed in my mind. It started as a thought and out onto the earth it came. The End.
Mic drop. Done. 5/25/19. What a long strange trip it’s been.<<
But of course, having pets means that those tools must never be far away. We have a temporary fence netting around the greenhouse gardens for the express purpose of keeping critters from raiding the gardens. I’ve seen it keep the barn cats frustrated, and it does keep the dogs out……… so I thought. Our youngest Lab, Sage, is a little deviant. I was watering yesterday, and I looked over and the little shit was in the garden area with me! How the hell did she do that? With her teeth of course. Chewed a hole through the net and jumped through! Now the garden fencing will need to be built sooner than I expected.
The Turkey Hilton got its “gazebo” today. The birds in the grow out coop needed some respite from the sun. Those steel pig huts can get hot in the sun, and since they are a food source and won’t be around in the winter, we need to make sure they are comfortable during the summer. So, when I ordered the shade cloth for the garden beds, I also got a 90% sun block cover for the turkey runs. To make sure that it wouldn’t get destroyed by the chain link fencing, I covered the fencing panels with cut open foam swimming pool noodles. Pretty sure I embarrassed my son when we got them at Target. Had one on each finger (they are 5 feet long) doing the wave through the store while we walked to the check out (it’s amazing the things you’ll do when you no longer give a damn).
So summer is ready to commence. The new broiler chicks are doing great. We hatched a dozen new turkeys, lost two, so ten are in the brooder, the pigs figured out the feed dispenser (pigs iz smart), and the gardens are in. Now to start planting the fruit trees and berry vines. Oh wait…… didn’t I say I was done?
Yeah, you did say that. But of course, you NEVER will be. It will just be different work that is hopefully more enjoyable.